Ugandan military chief is visiting Somalia to review progress made in the transitioning of national security responsibilities to the Somali national security forces by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The AU mission said in a statement on Saturday that David Muhoozi, Chief of the Defence Forces (CDF) of Uganda who arrived in Mogadishu on Friday lauded the AU troops for extending the ‘frontiers of peace and liberation, and fostering development’ in the country.
“A lot has been done, a lot more remains and I can only say that the resilience of the enemy is matched by the resilience of the troops in AMISOM and all the TCCs (troop contributing countries),” Muhoozi said, according to the statement.
“Uganda happens to be one of them and we are proud to contribute to the peace and security of Somalia,” he said after holding talks with Francisco Madeira, the AU Special Representative for Somalia and head of AMISOM.
Muhoozi who is in Somalia on a routine visit to Ugandan troops deployed to the country, hailed troops from all the troop contributing countries to AMISOM, for their efforts in the degradation of al-Shabab extremists.
Madeira said the latest visit by the Ugandan military chief offers reassurance to the mission leadership and troops.
“We talked about how we can move ahead in the coming times. How we can, together, implement the transition, and Resolution 2431 of the UN Security Council, which gives us the mandate up to May next year,” said Madeira.
The two also discussed planned joint military operations with the Somali security forces.
“We both agreed that we need to continue to move together, we need to ensure that Somali troops are ready to take over from us. We need also, to make sure that al-Shabab is further degraded,” said the AU envoy.
He said the troops would soon embark on operations to free new areas, which are currently occupied by extremists.
“We need to create space for the government to occupy and be present in much wider areas than it is currently and make sure that the checkpoints and tax collection points by al-Shabab are dismantled,” Madeira said.
He assured that Leego town which lies about 120 km southwest of Mogadishu will fall back into the hands of the government.
Al-Shabab took over control of Leego which links Mogadishu to the western regions of Bay and Bakool, in August 2017 after AMISOM troops withdrew from a Forward Operating Base, situated in the area.